Biden is a lunch-bucket Democrat. His father was rich when he was young — played polo, cavorted on yachts, drove luxury cars. But through a series of bad personal and business decisions, he was broke by the time Joe Jr. came along. They lived with their in-laws in Scranton, Pa., then moved to a dingy working-class area in Wilmington, Del. At one point, the elder Biden cleaned boilers during the week and sold pennants and knickknacks at a farmer’s market on the weekends.This fascinates me. I was born in Wilmington, Delaware and lived in or near it (in Newark) until I was 12. My father grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and his parents — my grandparents Mom and Pop — lived there until they died. That is, unlike Biden, who started out in Scranton, my family was deeply embedded in the culture of Wilmington, Delaware. And reading that Brooks column called to mind something about Pop that I hadn't thought of in decades. Now, Pop was a perfectly nice man — you know Pop, I wrote about him fondly back here — but he used to toss nickels on the floor for the fun of having us scramble for them.
His son was raised with a fierce working-class pride — no one is better than anyone else. Once, when Joe Sr. was working for a car dealership, the owner threw a Christmas party for the staff. Just as the dancing was to begin, the owner scattered silver dollars on the floor and watched from above as the mechanics and salesmen scrambled about for them. Joe Sr. quit that job on the spot.
Is this some kind of Delaware thing?
ADDED: Was it "fierce working-class pride" to take umbrage at the coins tossed on the floor? Or was it the old rich-man pride? In my family, no one perceived it as offensive to induce a coin scramble. It was just fun. Obviously, the activity works when the coins are much more meaningful to one person than the other. Someone is willing to toss the coins for the fun of seeing the scramble, and someone else is willing to scramble. But what kind of person is disgusted by the display? The regular Joe?
ANOTHER THING: Amazing Delaware fact about Althouse: Long ago, I demonstrated how to make a hat to Governor Boggs.